Last week we released our Mindful Floral Set, a series of illustrations that captures our meditation on a single floral arrangement. To create this set, we allowed ourselves to slow down and observe the way each piece of the arrangement uniquely took up space.
This process of closely engaging with one arrangement made us wonder about the floral arranging practice itself, so we reached out to our friends Erin Heath and Rose Mattos of Foret to ask them about their process. Below they share their inspirations, their commitment to honoring what nature has provided, and some tips for putting together your own arrangements.
Tell us a bit more about what drew you two to working with flowers?
We’ve always been inspired by nature. Nature evokes a sense of calm, of still, and of beauty; a desire to work with such materials felt like a way to keep ourselves connected with one of the things we love most.
What does your floral arranging process look like? Is there an aspect of the process that is particularly meditative for you?
We try to honor what nature has provided, rather than manipulate it to be what it is naturally not. Paying attention to the arch of the stem and how it moves through space becomes an important part of the process. There’s a meditative quality in letting the materials speak to you and respecting the way they once grew; we’re able to feel a sort of connection to the flora world. In noticing these subtle (or not) details, we can showcase them in way that feels as if they are still growing in the earth.
Arranging in a calm, quiet environment allows the magic to happen. Loud music and constant shuffling hinder our creative process, and we typically encourage quiet in the studio and the use of headphones if you need to create your own private world within which to arrange.
Could you share a few tips, some things we should have in mind, when we are putting together arrangements at home this summer?
Sometimes simple is best. All one variety of material arranged at varying heights creates depth and dimension but also feels as if it’s still growing. Also, cut blooms at varying stages of growth; this, again, creates a natural feel.
What are each of your favorite flora at the moment?
I’m forever into orange and rusty blooms like California Poppies and Rudbeckia. Rose loves Daffodils- all the different shades, shapes and sizes!
You run two businesses, your design studio as well as your shop, Queen of Swords. Do you have routines that help you slow down?
Dividing up tasks and having separate roles helps us to get everything (well, as much as we can) done. Every few weeks we step away from the studio and have our owner meetings at a cafe or diner to get out of the space and recharge. Sometimes that’s followed by a stroll in the Mt. Auburn Cemetery...one of our favorite places in the city to take nature.
What makes you proud when looking back at your arrangements?
Using flowers that were grown by people we know…rather than from big corporations.